Winnington Posts 400 Free PB As Australia’s 3rd Fastest Performer


The 2020 Queensland Short Course Championships finished tonight in Brisbane.

Topping the men’s open 400m free was Elijah Winnington, the 20-year-old St. Peters Westerner who, up until tonight, held the World Junior Record in the event. We already reported how 18-year-old Rackley ace Thomas Neill overtook the new WJR holder status with his monster 3:38.00 performance this event. That garnered him the silver behind Winnington, who touched in 3:37.45 for gold.

As for Winnington, this 400m free was the man’s sole event at these championships, but he capitalized on the racing opportunity by putting up that 3:37.45 new PB. His 3:38.30 seed time represented the fastest of his career, a swim he performed at the ISL Budapest meet last October.

You can compare Winnington’s and Neill’s split breakdowns of tonight’s race below, but know that Winnington’s sub-3:38 now renders him as Australia’s 3rd fastest performer all-time and the fastest man this decade.

Neill was back in the water at the end of the session in the 800m free. Look for a subsequent post on his swim.

Aussie Men SCM 400 Free All-Time Performers

  1. 3:34.58 Grant Hackett 80 Miami July’02 Sydney
  2. 3:34.63 Ian Thorpe 82 SLC Aquadot Jan’03 Stockholm
  3. 3:37.45 Elijah Winnington, 2020
  4. 3:37.63 Thomas Fraser-Holmes 91 Miami Nov’15 Sydney
  5. 3:38.00 Thomas Neill, 2020
Event 96  Men 11 & Over 400 SC Metre Freestyle
    Name            Age Team                 Seed     Finals              
  1 Winnington, Eli  20 StPetersWestern   3:38.30    3:37.45        
                 11.65        24.85 (13.20)
          38.34 (13.49)       51.90 (13.56)
        1:05.68 (13.78)     1:19.35 (13.67)
        1:33.21 (13.86)     1:47.32 (14.11)
        2:01.32 (14.00)     2:15.23 (13.91)
        2:29.19 (13.96)     2:43.15 (13.96)
        2:57.02 (13.87)     3:10.92 (13.90)
        3:24.37 (13.45)     3:37.45 (13.08)
  2 Neill, Thomas    18 Rackley ST        3:41.38    3:38.00        
                 12.18        25.43 (13.25)
          38.90 (13.47)       52.55 (13.65)
        1:06.19 (13.64)     1:19.98 (13.79)
        1:33.88 (13.90)     1:47.70 (13.82)
        2:01.67 (13.97)     2:15.61 (13.94)
        2:29.54 (13.93)     2:43.50 (13.96)
        2:57.33 (13.83)     3:11.32 (13.99)
        3:24.99 (13.67)     3:38.00 (13.01)

The men’s 400m free for 17-year-olds saw on-fire Sam Short lay down a personal best time of 3:44.44 for the win and 3rd place overall in ‘open’. His outing overtakes the Queensland All Comers Record for the age category, which was marked by the 3:44.81 Thomas Hauck established last month. Hauck was in tonight’s race, settling for silver in 3:48.78.

We recently reported on Short’s upward trajectory as indicated by some notable performances at the Vorgee Short Course Meet just last week. You can read more about Short’s escapades here, but know that this 400m free performance now checks him in among the top 5 Aussies ever at this age.

Olympic medalist Mitch Larkin rocked a 400m IM victory already here in a new personal best, but the St. Peters Western athlete wanted another multi-discipline win. Punching a time of 1:53.03 tonight in the 200m IM, Larkin posted the 5th fastest time of his career, one that includes a lifetime best of 1:52.21 from 2018.

18-year-old St.Peters Western standout Meg Harris topped the women’s open 50m free field tonight, touching in a time of 25.03. That effort represents Harris’ 4th fastest time ever, with her career-best already logged here in Brisbane.

Harris competed in the women’s 18-year-old age category of the 50m free earlier in the meet, where she touched in a time of 24.76 to demolish the Queensland All Comers Record for the age group. That 24.76 result hacked .16 off of her previous career-quickest of 24.92. As a result, Harris situates herself in slot #5 among 18-year-olds in this event.

It was a tight battle tonight in the women’s 200m breaststroke, as Jenna Strauch and Calypso Sheridan wound up being separated by only .05. Bond’s Strauch got to the wall first in 2:23.78 to Sheridan’s 2:23.83, with the pair setting themselves apart from the rest of the field by nearly 2 seconds.

Strauch opened in 1:09.43 to Sheridan’s 1:10.17, but Sheridan brought the heat on the back end to close in 1:13.66, keeping it super close all the way to the touch. Strauch has been as fast as 2:21.09 in this women’s SCM 200 breast in her career, while Sheridan’s time where falls within half a second of her 2:23.35 PB from 2016.

For the men, it was 21-year-old Zac Stubblety-Cook who cracked the best swim for gold, clocking a time of 2:06.04 to beat the field by over 5 seconds. Stubblety-Cook owns a lifetime best of 2:04.94 from 2018, a time which rendered the Chandler swimmer as Australia’s 5th fastest performer all-time.

Sheridan earned another piece of hardware on the night, this time upgraded to gold by way of her 200m IM win. The Northwestern University swimmer punched a time of 2:10.96 to mark the 2nd fastest outing of her career, sitting behind the 2:10.77 from 2016.

Additional Notes

  • The men’s 50m free saw 22-year-old Rackley swimmer Louis Townsend get it done for gold in a time of 21.96, the only sub-22 second effort of the field tonight. Townsend also topped the men’s 50m breast field in 27.43.
  • The women’s 100m breast winner here, Chelsea Hodges, doubled up with a victory in the 50m breast with a time of 30.28, a new PB by .06.
  • Gideon Burnes shined once again in the men’s breaststroke for 14-year-olds, this time taking on the 200m distance. The Palm Beach athlete hit a time of 2:21.05 to top the field and also overtake the previous Queensland All Comers Record for the age category, surpassing the previous mark of 2:22.20 that’s been on the books since 2008.
    • Burnes also logged a time of 26.96 for a new All Comers Record for his age in the 50m breast for another victory.
  • Rackley’s Niamh Bedggood earned a new QLD All Comers Record in the women’s 50m breast for 15-year-olds with her winning time of 31.96.
  • You can read about Isaac Cooper‘s 50m back Aussie Age Record for 16-year-olds here.
  • World Record holder in the 100m back, Minna Atherton, won the women’s open 50m back tonight in a time of 27.17. But, it was Maggie O’Callaghan wreaked havoc on the 16-year-old backstroke race, taking out an Atherton record. You can read about her Aussie Age Record here.
  • 17-year-old Jenn Forrester logged a winning time of 4:04.29 in the women’s 400m free for her age group, with the teen’s time checking in as a new Queensland All Comers Record.
  • Lani Pallister, who already nailed a new Aussie National Record in the 800m free here, capped off her meet with a solid 4:01.96 performance in the 400m free for the open gold.

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1 year ago

I watched a stream of the men’s 400m race and Neill was losing ground to Winnington off each turn but gaining the ground back through the swimming portion for most of the race.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

Mack will have to bring in a rare domestic taper to get a 400 spot . It’s a 4 way race including Jack .

Reply to  Corn Pop
1 year ago

I’m already feeling sorry in advance for whoever misses out.

1 year ago

Wasn’t Titmus swimming this meet?

Aussie Crawl
1 year ago

How along ago did he leave Bond ?
To go and swim at SPW ??

Reply to  Aussie Crawl
1 year ago

A few months

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Retta Race

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